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Word Count: 862
Slavery played an important role in the economic growth of a young America It grew like a cancer at first slowly almost imperceptibly then inexorably as colonists eager for material gain imported hundreds of thousands of Africans to toil in their fields Kolchin 4 Although economically motivated racism soon began to play a role in the colonies in their attempt to acquire a labor force Racial distinction in short facilitated enslavement Kolchin 13 Rather than forego the economic benefits of slavery American slaveholders resolved the dilemma by defining blacks not as fellow human beings but more like beasts of burden The colonists came from a culture in which the rich and powerful exploited the poor and powerless Kolchin 7 It was this attitude in the beginning that the demand for labor was for the most part color-blind Throughout the seventeenth century the bulk of the labor force in the colonies was that of indentured servants They sold themselves for the cost of passage to the colonies in hope for a better life As long as there was this continuous influx of indentured labor there was no need to go to the expense of paying for the import of Africans With economic recovery and political stabilization in Europe fewer people sold themselves into indentured servitude At the same time the economy in the colonies was growing More and more indentured servants were able to eventually gain their freedom and the demand for labor grew The colonist made an attempt to enslave the Native Americans but found that they were proud and refused to work The Indian men would not perform agricultural labor because it was traditionally seen as womans work With their familiarity with the surroundings they found it easy to escape This set the stage for the importation of Africans Landowners began to prefer slaves to servants because slaves were permanent and female slave passed their status on to their
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